About Us

About Sacred Centers East

Our work is based on an understanding of the Chakra / Energy system as the juncture between body, mind and spirit. This system holds both the blueprint of our essential nature and the imprint of every life experience, revealing how the two have shaped our reality. As we discover the contradictions between these two experiences and realign with our essential nature, we find our truth, our health and our enthusiasm for life. All of our offerings are designed to support this fundamental realignment.

For thousands of years this vital knowledge was in the hands of a chosen few. In an era of information and communication it has surfaced and become available to us all. It reveals a larger picture of life, its potential, our place in it and how we can move beyond the experience of limitation to abundance and the fulfillment of our chosen destiny, both personally and universally.

The Chakra System

The Chakra System is a highly-organized system created by the flow of two complementary and opposing forces within us (yin and yan, feminine and masculine, expansive and contractive, light and dark). These forces, one flowing upward the other downward through the central energetic pathways in the body, create 7 major centers (energy vortexes) aligned vertically along the spine from the tailbone to the crown of the head.

Each center has a specific function physically, emotionally/mentally and spiritually. Each also corresponds to a developmental stage from the womb through adulthood, a specific nerve ganglia steming from the spine, gland, set of organs, aspect of our identity, element, color, sound etc. Together they form a dynamic system which bridges the physical, mental/emotional and spiritual dimensions of our human experience.

The Founder and Director, Maria Garcia

Maria J Garcia was born in Spain and raised in Buenos Aires, Maria’s passion for service to humanity began at a very early age and has been a driving force in her life. As a young woman in New York City she was introduced to yoga, meditation, macrobiotics, Science of Mind and other transformative modalities. These studies marked the beginning of a thirty year journey in conscious living and service to those seeking transformation and spiritual awakening.

Maria is a visionary thinker, Transformational Coach, workshop leader, yoga teacher, wife and mother. She is co-founder of The Way Of The Butterfly - Sacred Passage From Girlhood To Young Adulthood and has also worked in business, marketing, non-profit management and the arts. For five years she lived and worked at “Kripalu at Sumneytown,” a residential yoga and holistic health center serving a worldwide community. Here she played many roles, eventually becoming executive director.

Several years ago she began a focused exploration of her experience of the Divine Feminine. From this deeply personal work emerged an awareness of the Chakra System as a framework for understanding the Self and as a map for healing and empowerment. This understanding and her connection to the creative feminine principle inspire her work, which she is committed to bringing to all people, not just yoga enthusiasts.

Maria has trained with many inspiring and powerful teachers throughout her life. Her training on the Chakra System was done with Anodea Judith, world renowned author and teacher with whom she is now in creative partnership, and Anodea's life long teaching associate Selene Vega. Her Chakra coaching training took place under Master Coach Lion Goodman.

Teacher Bios

Michelle Donnellan - The Wisdom Of Food Counselor, Food Specialist

Michell DirksMichelle Donnellan is a native of Ireland and the mother of 3 boys. She is one of the top natural food specialists in the US and has taught extensively over the past 25 years. She has cooked for many celebrities including his holiness the Dalai Lama, and for a time specialized in cooking for cancer patients.

Rooted in a deep and practical understanding of Macrobiotic principles to bring balance and healing, her vast knowledge includes many ancient healing traditions as well as innovative new discoveries. With skill, talent and a lifetime of experience, Michelle addresses healing at a multi-dimensional level, offering a truly holistic approach. This is particularly important at a time when the nutritional quality of our food supply is seriously compromised.

Truly a Renaissance woman, Michelle is an internationally renowned artist and the author of Mr. Hoppity’s Color Me Cook Book for Kids and Yummy Yummy in My Tummy – Simply Natural Baby Food. She practices martial arts, Feng Shui, Herbology and is a nine star ki astrologer.

Michelle brings “The Wisdom of Food” to Sacred Centers East in her role as a health and whole foods counselor, cooking teacher, lecturer/workshop leader and nine star ki astrologer.

Debra Hess - Founder of Simply Yoga

In Debra's yoga classes you will experience a tacher that guides and encourages you to explore your own limitations and growth potential with ease. For thosed injured, Debra will work patiently and therapeutically with you. Her conscientious attitude is specially supportive for those with limitations and special needs.

Expect to feel more deeply, improve your physical intelligence, get stronger through deeper awareness skills, and open to soar with your spirit.

Debra walks an Awakened path that she shares in her advanced programs, meting the ever-present challenges od the Human Journey. Students who connect with Debra often receive a high transmission of love that inspires and opens then to deeper level of awakening.

Mimi Liberi - Healthy Backs

Mini has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and hopes to assist her students in gaining the benefits of this centuries old practice. She strives to enhance their confidence as they realize their potential, and to embrace the freedom they access as they accept that each individual's journey in yoga is different.

She feels that yoga has strengthened her not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. The lessons imparted in yoga class and in yoga traditions teach us ways to handle life stresses. Mimi decided to teach and bring the "joy/depth" of her personal yoga experience to others.

Jessica McCoppin – Assistant, The Way Of The Butterfly

Jessica is originally from Southern California. She relocated to the East Coast in 1999.
After many years working in the finance industry, she returned to school to pursue degrees in Nutrition and Public Health.

She is most at home working with young people and has particularly enjoyed her time as a tutor, coach, and mentor to young people in the areas of scholastics and swimming.

Jessica is currently a student exploring ways to improve communities through access to sustainable food. She has traveled extensively and is eager to continue exploring the world and its citizens.

Kimberly Alt-Brinser - Restorative Yoga

Restorative YogaKimberly was first introduced to yoga in college. As a dancer and performer, her goal was to find deeper strength and flexibility. To her surprise, she fell in love with both the spirituality and physicality of yoga. After developing her own combination aerobic/ yoga/dance class, which she taught in the South Jersey area for many years, she knew she wanted to focus solely on yoga.

Kimberly is certified to teach Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, and Yin Yoga along with Beginner and Intermediate Pilates. Her yoga has been a powerful healing tool for her chronic arthritis. Kimberly has a strong desire to be of service and sees yoga a perfect, uplifting and therapeutic way to guide others to find their strengths and allow their bodies to heal. As a teacher, her goal is to help students achieve the same benefits in yoga she has found.

In her spare time, Kimberley loves training the horse she raised from birth and teaching her dog to be a therapy canine. She believes that every day we should look for something in life for which to be grateful. She is grateful for her family and friends with whom she can share laughter and good times!

Susan Yayac - Gentle Yoga & Meditation

Susan received her 200 hour training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Kripalu yoga is the yoga of compassion. In Susan's class you will be held in a container of love and compassion. She believes that yoga open one to awareness, and through awareness comes healing and unlimited possibilities.

Susie sees herself as a guide. She encourages her students to listen to their own bodies, their own place (wherever they are at that moment) and adjust accordingly.

Jen Albinson - Advanced Practice Of Yoga

Jen_DonatelliJen completed her yoga teacher training at Yoga Life. She first tried yoga on a whim. Her love for running and triathlons encouraged her to "try something new". During that class, her thoughts teetered around "I don't get it"; and when the final rest pose was offered "I really don't get it".

Yet life drew her back to a yoga class, and it was through yoga that she began discovering peace and love. When yoga became "more than a physical practice", she was amazed. It's from this depth of understanding that she finds creativity in her yoga classes.

Jen integrates the philosophies of ancient spiritual texts with each class, which includes beginner yogis as well as more advanced practitioners. She offers modifications and variations that surprise her, and relishes in the beauty that is both effort and release - finding a new learning experience around every corner.

Betty Carmella Young

Betty has been practicing yoga for 26 years. She is certified through Yogafit and has done a year long Ashtanga apprenticeship. She taught kid's yoga for ten years and adults for five the last five years.

Her style is a fusion of modalities inspired by dance, movement and different yoga disciplines, creating a unique and deeply beneficial experience.

The discipline of yoga played a key role in helping her overcome depression, addiction and eating disorders. Her love of the practice and of teaching, as well as her warmth and humor is felt by every student.